June 30, 2023

Colorado College Finds Its Next Ombuds Within

Ty Nagamatsu has accepted the position as the next Ombuds for the private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs. She moves to the position after working in the College's Advancement Office as an Estate Settlement & Gift Planning Officer since 2020. She has previously served on the College's Diversity and Equity Advisory Board. Nakamura follows Paul Kuerbis, who was the Ombuds from 2015 to 2022. She will serve all campus groups, including faculty, staff, and students. (CC Ombuds.) 

June 29, 2023

University of Massachusetts Boston Selects Inaugural Ombuds

UMass Boston's Chancellor has announced the appointment of Martha Nelson Patrick, CO-OP as the first University Ombudsperson and Director of Ombuds Services. in this new role, Patrick will report to the Chancellor and establish an IOA-compliant program for all members of the campus community—a total population of nearly 25,000. She starts today.

UC Law San Francisco Names First Ombuds

After an extended national search, Lucia Galante Johnson has been chosen as the first Ombudsperson for University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly known as UC Hastings College of the Law). Johnson will provide hybrid services on a part-time basis. 

June 28, 2023

Job Posting: Los Alamos National Laboratory

The U.S. Department of Energy laboratory near Santa Fe, New Mexico, is hiring an Ombuds Specialist at level 3 or 4. The position will report to Ombuds Office Director, Cindy Mazur, and join Associate Ombuds, Evelyn Martinez, and Ombuds Specialist, Kazmere Duffey. Elisa Enriquez, recently left the office after nearly 13 years as Senior Associate Ombuds. Depending on the qualifications of the person hired, the job description could include additional duties.

Brock University Names Student Ombuds

Heather Bellisario has been selected as the next Student Ombuds for the public university in St. Catharines, Ontario. She follows Marla Terreberry-Portfilio, who served as the Interim Ombuds for the past six months, and will serve a student body of nearly 20,000. 

June 27, 2023

ENOHE Concludes 20th Annual Conference, Elects New Leadership

The European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education held its 20th annual conference on June 12-16, 2023, hosted by Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. The association welcomed nearly 100 participants from more than 20 countries, marking the largest attendance in recent history. After two days of training, the conference offered 20 working sessions over three days covering essential topics on Ombuds work, including: relationships with university administrators and student representatives; reporting; professionalization; evaluation; interaction with the broader community; and practical issues. Three keynotes gave insights on current issues in academia. 

June 26, 2023

Job Posting: Springfield College

The private college in Western Massachusetts has significantly revised its search for an inaugural Ombudsperson. The new position will establish a program to serve about 5,000 faculty, staff, and students, following IOA standards. Initially, Springfield sought a part-time Ombuds who would report to the Director of Human Resources. The position is now full-time (for 10 months per year) and reports to the College President.

Job Posting: Western Governors University

The private, nonprofit, online university based in Salt Lake City, Utah is hiring a Student Ombuds. The position is located in the Office of Student Affairs and will provide impartial and confidential consultation to student population of nearly 100,000. It is unclear from the posting whether this search will replace or supplement the work of Kevin L. Cummings, who established WGU's Ombuds program in June 2019.

June 23, 2023

Job Posting: American Red Cross

The U.S. humanitarian aid organization has opened a search for its next Corporate Ombuds. The full-remote, full-time position will oversee and direct the Office of the Corporate Ombuds. The program serves a very large group of stakeholders, including employees, volunteers, donors, service recipients, suppliers, the public at large. The position is expected to serve a "limited-term role (normally expected to be 5 years)." Some travel may be required. The search will fill a position held by Jacqueline Villafañe, CO-OP, since 2016.

Cornell University Appoints Ombuds

Ati Alipour has been hired by the Cornell Ombuds Office as an Assistant Ombuds. She joins Bruce Lewenstein and Linda Falkson, CO-OP, and follows Tracey Brant, who recently moved to a fulltime position at Dartmouth College. Ati is a lawyer and mediator with broad background in dispute resolution, most recently as an Conflict Resolution and Mediation Consultant with the UN Funds and Programmes Office of the Ombudsman.

IOA White Paper Summarizes U.S. Legal Context for Ombuds Confidentiality

The International Ombuds Association published a a new resource to assist program designers to better understand U.S. case law, statutory, and other established guidance relating to Ombuds confidentiality. "An Overview of Ombuds Confidentiality" summarizes the legal bases for confidentiality with ample references and examples. The paper outlines why a properly structured office is an essential component to creating an implied contract between Ombuds and visitors to further support the voluntary nature of the work. This paper resource will be shared at a session IOA has planned for the National Association of College of University Attorneys (NACUA)'s annual meeting later this month.

June 22, 2023

Job Posting: UC Davis

The UC Davis Ombuds Office is hiring an Associate Ombuds (Ombuds 5) based in Sacramento with some hybrid possibilities. The position will be focused on providing services to UC Davis Health, which includes a medical and nursing school, and teaching hospitals/clinics.
The Associate Ombuds will join a team includes Lauren Bloom, Director, CO-OP, Lindsey Ensor, Associate Ombuds, CO-OP, Jenny Vaccari, Assistant Ombuds, CO-OP, and Kyra Coke Duffy, Interim Assistant Ombuds.

Gates Foundation Debuts Ombuds Program

Bathabile Mthombeni, Caitlan Hendrickson, and Alnoor Maherali are the first Ombuds for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest charitable foundation. They will serve 3,000 staff and contingent workers at the BMGF headquarters in Seattle and offices in Washington, DC, China, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom. Their services will be provided under a contract with MWI in Boston, which requires adherence to IOA standards.

June 21, 2023

Job Posting: UN Development Programme

The United Nations' development aid agency is seeking mediators for its Global Mediation Panel. As part of the Office of the Ombudsman for the UN Funds and Programmes, the external, on-call mediators work with stakeholders from UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS, and UN Women. Significant collaboration with the Office of the Ombudsman is part of the work. The Office is currently seeking applicants who are nationals or residents, and speak the language of the following countries:

Charles University in Prague Introduces Ombuds

In January 2023, Kateřina Šámalová, became the first University Ombudswoman for Univerzita Karlova, the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic. She will serve a three-year term and joins Charles University’s Ombuds for the Faculty of Arts, Pavla Špondrová, who was appointed in March 2022. 

World Bank Group Selects Ombuds for RWA Program

Diana (Mosonyi) Vermeul has been hired as a Respectful Workplace Advisor Program Analyst for a three-year appointment in Washington, DC. In this full-time position in the the WBG Ombuds Office, she will provide administrative and technical support to 300 volunteer Respectful Worklplace Advisors through training, coaching, data analysis, and report writing following IOA standards.

University of Wisconsin–Madison Names 2023 Ombuds

Beth Dawson, has joined the Ombuds Office at UW-Madison for a three-year term. Before retiring in August 2022, Dawson worked as a human resources specialist, an academic advisor, a freshman seminar instructor, director of a large advising office and a career advisor. Sh
e joins a panel of other UW Ombuds who serve campus employees, including Bruno Browning, Jane Dymond, Gery Essenmacher, Gloria Hawkins, Rob Howell, and Thomas Kuech. (UW-M News.)

June 20, 2023

Jackson State University Appoints New Ombuds

Susan Powell has taken on the duties of the University Ombuds after five years as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. She takes over following the departure of JSU's inaugural Ombuds, Janelle Hannah Jefferson, who has become a consultant for higher education. Jackson State's Ombuds Office serves faculty, staff, and students at one of the largest HBCU's in the U.S.

Journal of IOA Article Reviews Ombuds' Impact on College 'Stoputs'

The latest article in the Journal of the International Ombuds Association was submitted by Angella Wint, the Ombuds at Florida Atlantic University: "An Ombuds Reflection on Student Stopouts in Higher Education." Wint draw on her professional experience working with students who have suspended their enrollment. Wint is also completing her PhD in Higher Education Leadership and Research Methodology at FAU.

June 19, 2023

Job Posting: World Health Organization, Denmark

WHO is hiring a Regional Ombudsperson for an initial two-year contract. Based in Copenhagen, the position will serve WHO personnel in Europe and report directly to WHO's Regional Director. Among other typical Ombuds duties, the position is expected to be an active member of the Network of Ombudsmen from the United Nations and Related International Organizations (UNARIO). 

Book Outlines Conflict Management Strategies for Graduate Education

Supervising Conflict: A Guide for Faculty is a practical guide to managing the most common conflicts that arise in graduate programs. The author, Heather McGhee Peggs, is the former Manager of the Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre at the University of Toronto and now is the Manager Complaint Services at Patient Ombudsman in Toronto and a partner in an Ombuds consulting firm, Justequitable. The book and accompanying online training for faculty includes many strategies and tools for University, including worksheets, skits, and surveys.

June 15, 2023

Job Posting: U.S. Department of State

The Office of the Ombudsman at the State Department is hiring a Program Management Specialist in Washington, DC. The position reports to the State Department Ombuds, Jeanne Juliao, and will provide "subject matter expertise in conflict resolution, utilizing mediation, facilitation, conflict coaching and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques, as appropriate." Some travel is required and there is an opportunity to telecommute.

Federal Housing Finance Agency Reveals New Ombuds Program

FHFA, federal agency that regulates housing mortgage industry, now has a Workforce Ombuds. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service is providing the service under an inter-agency agreement and will assist FHFA employees with any type of workplace issue. Currently, the FMCS Office of the Ombuds is headed by Karen Jane Dean, a long-time Federal Ombuds. (FHFA Ombuds; FMCS Ombuds; LinkedIn.) 

June 14, 2023

Job Posting: University of California, San Francisco

The Ombuds Office at UCSF is looking to hire an evaluator. The office is piloting a cohort-based conflict competence training series for directors and managers in the health system. The training sessions will be weekly for the first week, then monthly for six months and include a coaching component for the 20 participants.

IOA Opens Registration for 2023's Only In-Person Foundations Training

The International Ombuds Association's signature, training course has largely gone online. This year, only one of the ten Foundations classes will be offered in person. This year's in-person training will be offered at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana, on July 10 through 12, 2023. Due to the high demand for the Foundations course, IOA gives initial priority to practicing Ombuds and limits registration to 36.

June 13, 2023

Job Posting: U.S. Census Bureau

The Department of Commerce agency is hiring an Associate Ombuds based in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The GS-14/15 position will report to the Census Bureau Ombuds, Bill Maurer, CO-OP. Occasional travel may be required and telework may also be possible. Relocation expenses may be paid.

Cal Caucus Posts Agenda, Opens Registration for 50th Annual Meeting

Registration is now open for the 2023 California Caucus of College and University Ombuds. Set for November 5-8 at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, the theme will be “Diving Deep: 50 Years of Ombuds Exploration.” The event will celebrate the rich history of Cal Caucus and the Ombuds profession, delve into the depths of effective Ombuds work, explore how Ombuds contribute to healthy and diverse organizational ecosystems, and support each other both personally and professionally.

University of Houston–Clear Lake Announces Inaugural Ombuds

Lisa Jones has been appointed the first Faculty Ombudsperson for the public university in Houston, Texas. In this new role, Jones will work with the university's 750 academic staff and reports to the Senior VP for Academic Affairs & Provost. She takes on the Ombuds role in addition to her work as Professor of Counseling, Special Education, and Diversity in the College of Education. 

Meet the Ombuds at Curtis Institute of Music

In October 2021, the small private conservatory in Philadelphia established an Ombuds Office for faculty, staff, and students. A website for the program went live in 2022. The program operates according to a charter, which is familiar in most respects, but does not include any reference to IOA. Currently, Curtis has two collateral duty Ombuds: Trisha Carpino; and Alan Morrison.

June 12, 2023

Job Posting: Auburn University

The public university in Alabama will expand its Ombuds Office with the hiring of a full-time Associate University Ombuds. The new position will report to Auburn's Ombuds, Kevin Coonrod, CO-OP (who will mark his ten year anniversary in September). The Associate Ombuds will provide services to all campus stakeholders, including faculty, staff, and students. 

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Relaunches Ombuds Program

Júlia Horváth has been hired to reopen the Ombuds program for NASA's research and development lab in Pasadena, California. (JPL has been without an Ombuds since 2011, when its founding Ombuds, Lewis Redding, retired.) Horvath comes to the position from the Staff Ombuds Office at UC Berkeley, where worked for the past seven years, most recently as Associate Ombuds. In her new role, she will serve 6,000 JPL employees following IOA standards and report to the Deputy Director.

June 09, 2023

Job Posting: Eugene School District 4J

The public school district in Western Oregon has opened a search for its first District Ombuds. The new position will serve over 16,000 enrolled K-12 students and their families, district employees, and community members. The full-time, 12-month position will practice to IOA standards and report to the superintendent's office.

June 08, 2023

Bowdoin College Finds Its Ombuds

After a ten-month, national search, the private liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine has appointed Jacqueline M. Reese as its inaugural Ombuds. In this new, part-time, year-round position, Reese will serve the college's 1,100 faculty and staff following IOA standards and reporting to Bowdoin's President. She is expected to begin in September.

June 07, 2023

Job Posting: City of Seattle

Seattle's Office of the Employee Ombud is hiring an hourly temporary Case Manager. Reporting to the OEO Director (Amarah Y. Kahn) and working closely with the two Assistant Ombuds (Emma Phan and Rachel Nicholson), the position will manage cases from intake to closure. In addition, the work will include developing practice protocols, developing curriculum development, providing trainings, and writing office communications. the contract is expected to last six months. 

June 06, 2023

Job Posting: Colorado State University

The public land-grant university in Fort Collins is hiring an Assistant Director of Conflict Resolution Services. The position manages conflict resolution programs for 33,000 students, including conflict prevention, education, coaching, problem solving, mediation, facilitation, and restorative justice. Many of these services are voluntary, neutral, confidential, and informal. Meanwhile, the campus has an Office of the Ombuds (headed by Melissa Emerson) which serves faculty and staff.

SOS Children's Villages Reports Progress on Global Ombuds

The Austria-based international development organization for children reports on several steps toward the selection of its first Global Ombuds. In April, SOS created an Ombuds Board, chaired by Cornelia Zelter, a former Senior Conflict Resolution Officer at the UN Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services in New York. The organization has also appointed two Interim Global Ombuds, Judi Fairholm and Andrew Azzopardi.

FDIC's External Ombuds Posts 2022 Report

M. Anthony Lowe, the Ombudsman for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has released a report covering the work of his office in 2022. (The FDIC Office of the Ombudsman is an "independent, neutral, and confidential resource and liaison for the banking industry and general public to facilitate the resolution of problems and complaints against the FDIC in a fair, impartial, and timely manner." There is a separate Internal Ombuds for employee concerns.)

June 05, 2023

Job Posting: World Health Organization

WHO/Europe seeks a Graphic Design Consultant for its Office of the Ombudsman. The contractor's deliverable will be "a set of useful, brief, relevant, and practical presentations and supportive graphic material for self-consultaion on how to address workplace issues" (five 12-slide presentations, ten summary info-graphs, and five summary leaflets). The consultant will telework only, no travel is required.

Quebec Health Center Names First Ombuds

Kateri Memorial Hospital, a Mohawk community hospital in the Kahnawake First Nations Reserve near Montreal, has named Alexis Shackleton as its first-ever Ombudsperson. She becomes one of the very few Organizational Ombuds working in a small hospital setting. Although announced just last week, Shackleton began serving as an on-demand Ombuds in November 2022. Meanwhile, she is continuing her work as Director of Client-Based Services for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. A press release this week announcing Shackleton's appointment explained: “The ombudsperson assists in the resolution of complaints in an impartial, confidential, and independent manner.” 

Meet the Ombuds for the Oakland School for the Arts

In February 2023, Genevieve Mage was appointed the first Ombudsperson for OSA, the California Bay Area visual and performing arts charter school. She serves over 800 students in grades 6-12 and also parents, employees and community members. The work is provided on a contract basis. 

Austin Schools to Restart Ombuds Program

The Austin Independent School District, which serves the capital of of Texas, has announced that it will reestablish its Ombuds Office. Previously, Beverly Reeves served as ASID's Ombudsman from 2003 to 2015. On June 27, 2023, the District will hold virtual meetings for staff and the community to give feedback before a search begins. (ASID Events.)

June 01, 2023

Job Posting: Brandeis University

The private university near Boston hiring a part-time Associate Ombuds Officer. The part-time (up to eight hours per week) position will commence in the Fall 2023 semester initially and may be extended based on demonstrated success. The position will join two other Ombuds at Brandeis: Don Greenstein and Esther Lin, Together, they serve the entire campus.

Meet the New Ombuds for Maastricht University

According to a new website, Claire Essers was appointed the Ombuds Officer for Universiteit Maastricht, the large public Dutch research university. Since April 2022, Essers has provided Ombuds services to over 22,000 students and nearly 5,000 employees at Maastricht. Essers follows Anna Soedira, who was the Ombuds for Staff through the end of 2021. Essers previously had been a labor lawyer for the university for five years.

Reference Book on Student Plagiarism Includes Ombuds Chapter

The Handbook of Academic Integrity is a living reference work that brings together diverse global perspectives on academic integrity in higher education. Emma Thacker, an Ombuds Officer at the University of Toronto, has contributed a new chapter, "Academic Integrity and the Canadian University Ombudsperson."